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S J Smith
Chosen One


Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 740
Location: Scariest Place in Florida

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:56 pm    Post subject: History Reply with quote

History
S J Smith

Rating: G

Disclaimer: Still not Joss Whedon. Drat it.

Written for Dana for a Yule prezzie.

A.N.: Future-fic. Just so you know.

* * *
You never thought it would run out this fast. It seems like just a few minutes ago, you were graduating from college (trapped on Quor-Toth). Walking down the aisle to meet your bride (carrying Cordelia to the mall, bombs wrapped around her middle). Holding your first (second) child in your arms (killing Jasmine).

Now you sit on the back porch of the cabin you inherited from your parents (the Reillys), a little blond girl with her head in your lap, staring at the stars. You aren’t surprised when a piece of the night detaches itself from the shadows; you’d felt him earlier. The girl frowns and sits up, staring at him. “Who are you?” she asks, bravely (like Faith. God, sometimes you still miss Faith).

“Angela,” you touch her hair softly, seeing the light of surprise in his eyes, “this is an old friend.” I hope, you think to yourself but you don’t feel the demon in him (your father). “Go inside now, it’s time for your bed.”

Her frown deepens; she looks so much like her father (your grandson) but she slides off the glider and runs into the cabin, the door slamming closed behind her. You smile up at him; offer him a hand ravaged by work and age, a hand that’s become shaky over the past few months. “I’m glad you came.”

“You know I never miss visiting you up here.” That’s not quite true but you don’t remind him of that.

His touch is cool and his own hands are calloused and you know that he’s still fighting. You’re afraid to ask who or where or how. He settles next to you, his dark eyes somehow warmer than the sun (and you know that has to be an oxymoron but it’s true). “How are you, son?” he asks.

You answer gently, knowing it will hurt for him to hear it but you cannot, will not, lie. “Tired.”

His faint smile fades and his gaze ticks away, then back. “I know.” His huge frame dominates the glider, making you feel small. For once, it isn’t a bad thing. “I’m sorry I haven’t been around.”

You’re pretty sure that time runs differently for vampires. It’s only been a few years this time. He once missed nearly a decade and when he finally showed up again, he was shocked to see how much you’d changed. You were afraid to ask where he’d been, you just remember that he seemed…haunted was a good word…once he got over his shock at seeing the changes in you. But he volunteered the information, or at least some of it, saying that there’d been a battle in Rome. Something had tickled at the back of your mind; an explosion in Vatican City had left many dead and the Catholic Church reeling. That had been a long time ago, though, and you’d wondered if he’d been trapped in another dimension. He’s never told you what happened.

“I’m sure you’ve been busy,” you say, shifting around, punching a pillow where it will provide a better padding for the wood. You can feel his stare focused on you as you find some comfort and you turn back to him with a smile. “Still fighting the good fight?”

“Always,” he says.

You gesture towards the cabin, behind both of you. “There’s a house full of people,” he said, “your kin.” You lean towards him and tap him on the wrist. “Your blood.”

He doesn’t look away from you. “Why do you think I keep fighting?”

You let loose a breath you weren’t sure you were holding. “I’m glad,” you tell him and get another of his faint, crooked smiles. You see something in his gaze, something you don’t want to think about (it isn’t time) and say, abruptly, before he can speak, “Tell me a story, Dad.”

You see him swallow but he doesn’t look away, his huge hand (one of the few features you both share, though his isn’t even marked with scars and yours, well, yours now belongs to an old, old man) come up to cup your face. He slides his palm down your neck, wrapping an arm around your shoulder, as if you were as young as Angela. It feels good. “What do you want to hear?” he asks, the words a low rumble.

He always tells you stories, except that one time after Rome. He tells you what has happened to him while he was gone, at least, the things he can remember. You, in turn, share those stories with your family (his blood), a tradition that you hope won’t die with you. You think maybe, soon, you need to have a talk with Michelle, your granddaughter. She’s recorded the old stories that you remember and always wants more. You think she’d probably like to know that Angel is real, not just someone you’ve made up.

But of all the stories he’s told you, there are a few he has never brought up. And you know, still, he won’t talk about Rome or what happened there. Somehow, that wound is still too fresh. You remind yourself to give that information to Michelle. Maybe, someday, she’d be able to ask about it.

There is something else you’ve always wanted to know, though, and it had never seemed the right time to ask previously. You decide to take the chance now. “Will you tell me why you decided to fight?”

Something passes across his face, something indescribable and you think maybe you’re wrong about the time being right. But he shakes his head, almost chuckling. “All right, son,” he says, his voice taking on a certain tenderness. He strokes your hair, what’s left of it, and you settle more comfortably in the glider.

Angel fixes his attention on the stars. “Once upon a time,” he says, “there was a demon named Whistler….”
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"I know it gives the enemy a handhold, but somehow I feel better going to a big battle with pretty hair. " --Buffy, in Kristi's "Fallen Angels"


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LisaP
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Joined: 03 Sep 2003
Posts: 645
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awww - SJ, I like this one. A lot. And how unusual, think it's the first time I've read a future fic featuring an old Connor, and you've made it work really well.

Also, great to see you back on the board - has RL taken a turn into slightly calmer waters?
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S J Smith
Chosen One


Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 740
Location: Scariest Place in Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, LisaP. I'm not sure where this story came from; I certainly wasn't expecting Old Man Connor at all. I did enjoy it, though!

And RL? Er...it might be manageable, at least until the flood waters crest sometime this week. Then all bets are off. Wink
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"I know it gives the enemy a handhold, but somehow I feel better going to a big battle with pretty hair. " --Buffy, in Kristi's "Fallen Angels"


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